Participant Media launched Participant PanAmerica to develop and co-finance 10-12 Spanish-language films a year with Mexico’s Canana, Chile’s Fabula and Colombia’s Dynamo, at the Berlin Film Festival in February. The entity has now identified its first project with El Ardor. Directed by Pablo Fendrik (Blood Appears, The Mugger), the film is currently shooting in Argentina and stars Gael García Bernal and Alice Braga. Fendrik, whose previous features were both Cannes Critics’ Week selections, wrote the screenplay about a mysterious man who emerges from the Argentinian rainforest to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a poor farmer after mercenaries murder her father and take over his property.
García Bernal, Juan Pablo Gugliotta and Nathalia Videla Peña are producers with Participant’s Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King, Canana’s Pablo Cruz and Telefe’s Axel Kuschevatzky as executive producers. Participant PanAmerica is backing the film whose co-producers are Magma Cine (Argentina), Bananeira Filmes (Brazil) and Manny Films (France). BAC Films will commence international sales outside North and Latin America in Cannes. Participant previously collaborated with García Bernal and Canana on last year’s Oscar nominee No. Gabe Brakin and Zac Locke negotiated the El Ardor deal on behalf of Participant, with Pablo Cruz on behalf of Canana, and Juan Pablo Gugliotta for Magma.